The support championships of the British Touring Car Championship were in action today as they took part in their free practice sessions ahead of the opening rounds of the season around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit this weekend.
Here's a brief round-up of the day's sessions:
Porsche Carrera Cup GB
The opening session for the Porsche's was incredibly close at the top, with the top five drivers split by less than a tenth of a second. Series returnee Glynn Geddie topped the session with a 46.606s lap, 0.075s ahead of second year driver Sam Tordoff. 2011 series runner up Michael Meadows went third ahead of Porsche Scholarship winner Daniel Lloyd and Ahmad Al Harthy, the Pro-Am1 driver putting in a superb performance to end up just 0.091s off the top. The top Pro-Am2 driver was Keith Webster in thirteenth, the final driver to end up within a second of Geddie.
The second session saw Meadows go fastest with a 46.232s lap, just ahead of Rory Butcher and Tordoff. Tied for fourth was Lloyd and Lithuanian Jonas Gelzinis, the duo setting the exact same time of 46.529s. Al Harthy went quickest again in Pro-Am1, eighth overall, with Webster fastest again in Pro-Am2, fifteenth overall.
Ginetta GT Supercup
In the Supercup, the opening session was topped by Tom Sharp, the IDL UK driver setting a time of 47.822s at the circuit he took a tripe victory at last year. An impressive second fastest was series newcomer Josh Wakefield, ending up 0.129s behind Sharp, just ahead of G50 graduates Tom Ingram and Andrew Richardson. Topping the G50 runners was Richardson Racing's Mark Davies in eighth overall, finishing 0.856s ahead of his nearest class rival, privateer Reece Somerfield in eleventh.
Wakefield continued his good day by going quickest in the second session with a 47.578s lap, just ahead of reigning G50 champion Ingram and Sharp. Richardson, Jamie Orton and Fergus Walkinshaw completed the G55 top six, while topping the G50's once again was Davies, with Max Coates and Louise Richardson going second and third fastest in class on their first runs of the day.
AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK
The opening Clio session was dominated by Team Pyro, the former championship winners producing four of the top six. Second year drivers Adam Bonham and Josh Files took a one-two for Pyro, Bonham setting a best time of 52.105s. James Colburn took third for Westbourne, ahead of Jack Goff for Pyro, Scuderia Vittoria's James Dixon and Pyro's Swedish newcomer Kim Andersson. Reigning champion Paul Rivett took seventh for Stancombe Vehicle Engineering in a close field that saw a second cover everyone down to Nicolas Hamilton in eighteenth.
Rivett went to the top of the timesheets in the day's second session with a time of 52.024s, 0.081s faster than Bonham's best from earlier in the day. Bonham took second, a quarter of a second behind the reigning champion, with Colburn third once again, ahead of Files, Dixon and Goff. Luke Wright was seventh for Scuderia Vittoria, while a strong performance by rookie Mike Bushell saw him eighth, just 0.432s off Rivett's best.
The final session saw a third different driver go quickest, with Goff leading the way for Pyro with a 52.414s lap. A surprise second fastest was 20Ten Racing's Josh Cook, the rookie outpacing series race winners Wright, Colburn and Dixon, the top five ending the session split by just 0.221s. Sixth after another great run was Bushell.
Ginetta Junior Championship
Heading into the weekend, Charlie Robertson, Niall Murray and George Gamble were being tipped to lead the field and the opening practice session saw them do just that. Murray topped it with a 54.424s lap, but incredibly close behind was Robertson, just 0.006s adrift. Gamble was only another 0.117s slower in third. Robertson's HHC Motorsport team-mate William Palmer was fourth, ahead of Gamble's Hillspeed team-mate Pepe Massot and Murray's Douglas Motorsport team-mate Andrew Watson.
The second session saw Robertson go quickest, with a day's best time of 54.357s. Second fastest was Watson, ahead of Gamble and Oliver Basey-Fisher, a strong performance by the reigning Ginetta Scholarship winner to go fourth. JHR Developments team-mates Sennan Fielding and Ollie Chadwick went fifth and sixth, with Murray seventh.
All the timing from the practice sessions can be found at: http://www.tsl-timing.com/?loc=major&season=2012&series=BTCC&event=testing&source=ed_TOCA&eventid=121341